Do I Need an IID if I don't Have a Car?

Do I Need an IID if I don't Have a Car?

Hi, I'm Charlie Roadman, Austin criminal defense attorney. And today I want to answer the question do you still need to get an ignition interlock device if you don't have a car? And that's a fairly common scenario when there's a DWI arrest, because maybe there's a collision and you don't have a car or it was a friend's car.

Okay, first let's talk about it. The IID is typically required as a bond condition or as a probation term. That's the two places where a judge says you need to get an ignition interlock device. And because it's ordered by a judge, only a judge can change the requirements. So the order a judge gives is going to say, get an IID within this term like 21 days or 30 days or something like that. The order's not going to say you have to get an IID if you have a vehicle. Because if it did say that, most people would just give their car to their girlfriend or something else and get rid of their car and say, "Okay, now I don't need the IID."

And the problem is the judge isn't going to trust you. So when they order you to get an IID, you have to get it unless the judge says, "Okay, you don't." Now, most judges will allow you to get a portable device instead. So if you convince the judge you don't have a car, or your attorney does, most judges will say, "Okay, you can do this portable device." The problem is the portable device is actually harder to comply with, because you have to blow into it three or four times a day, and there's all these opportunities to miss and then get in trouble.

So the portable device is not an easy solution to this, it's actually harder. And you have to get permission from the judge to do that. Now, yes, an IID requirement pressures people to get a car after a DWI arrest. And that is somewhat ironic. But that's just the way the judges protect themselves by having this requirement. And they're going to assume you're driving anyway so they kind of do want you to get a car and get this IID in it.

Now, an attorney can ask for the requirement to be removed. We can ask a judge, but the judges rarely agree. And the question why would they? Why would they say, "You know what? I'm just going to not let him or her have it." And then if there's some sort of tragedy, they're going to look pretty terrible. So most judges will err on the side of caution and require you to have the ignition interlock device.

Okay, so my advice, if you're curious about this is to talk to your attorney or call us and figure out what all the options are because different judges in different counties have different rules. And then once your attorney explains it, my advice is to comply with it very carefully. Don't violate. Don't blow hot into the IID, that can cause a lot of problems. All right, good luck. Call us if you have any questions.